Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Artist Residencies and other adventures

For the past week (and the next) I have been working away at an artist's residency in Alert Bay. First of all, you need to know that Alert Bay is the most beautiful place in British Columbia. It's on a tiny island off the northeast tip of Vancouver Island. The island is so small that I could probably walk from one end to the other in an hour. My days are spent combing the beaches for the ever elusive trade beads, bones and sea glass, talking with people and making art.

Last week I focused on abandoned structures. I am intrigued by all the empty buildings. Alert Bay used to be a booming fish town but quite a while ago the fish laws tightened up and people couldn't afford to sustain their commercial fishing boats. There's a whole section of the island that is boarded up; hotels, shipyards, cafes and houses.

Contrasting the 'ghost town' feel of some areas, is a vibrant community of people who look out for each other. Half of the island is municipality and the other half is a First Nations Reserve. This place is rich in history, culture and generosity (and I have never eaten so much salmon in a short amount of time!). 
My work has taken a turn with themes of 'migration', 'presence/absence' and 'home'. 

Sarah and I scavenging (what we do best)

My work space!

 Drawing in process...

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